Would you pass the Cultural Competence Test ? 

If your organisation has or aspires to a diverse workforce your managers should be able to demonstrate cultural competence yet most managers would feel I’ll prepared to pass a Cultural Competence test. Of even greater concern is  the number of organisations claiming to be striving for Equality and Inclusion and yet when appointing managers they do not stipulate in the Person Specification that Cultural Competence is an essential requirement. Without cultural competence you can have a diverse workforce but it won’t be an inclusive workplace. 

Cultural Competence is ,”  the ability to understand, appreciate and interact with people from cultures or belief systems different from one's own ”.


It’s not about treating everyone the same it’s about taking appropriate account of differences, being aware of and sensitive to those differences. It is the self awareness to recognise our own prejudices and biases and a willingness to educate our selves. As a manager it is about creating and supporting a culture that is safe and open to both giving and recovering honest feedback without fear or judgment or criticism. 


It’s not about closing down debate or avoiding discussions because people get up set.

 It’s not about judging or criticising  people for saying the wrong thing. It is about self awareness, about being curious and about educating ourselves. It’s about recognising the reliance on those from underrepresented groups to be the spokespeople for their community is exhausting. It’s about taking responsibility for educating ourselves and seeking  out learning opportunities to develop our cultural competence.  As a manager it’s about  meeting  people where they are on their journey and then supporting them in moving forward. 


The test


What are your prejudices and bias? How have you addressed these ?


Please provide an example of when and how you challenged the views of a colleague over something they said or did in relation to Equality and Inclusion. 


What steps have you taken to educate yourself about daily living experiences of people who are different from you ?


Can you give examples of how you have changed your language or behaviour in response to feedback on your management style? 


How would you go about creating a safe place for your team /those you manage to express views and explore experiences of being part of a diverse workforce?


Please describe how you have supported an individual(s) in their efforts to increase their understanding ,awareness and sensitivity towards people who are different from them? 


What are the myths and stereotypes you most frequently come across in championing Equality , Diversity and Incision and how have you challenged these? 


To what extent is Cultural Competence the responsibility of HR and the leadership and and to what extent is it the responsibility of individual line managers? 

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